The Arkansas Constitution would be amended to require voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot under separate proposals lawmakers filed Wednesday in response to the state’s highest court striking down a 2013 voter ID law. The measures aimed at reinstating the voter ID law the state Supreme Court struck down in October were among about 40 constitutional amendments lawmakers have proposed putting on the 2016 ballot. Wednesday was the deadline to file proposed constitutional amendments. The Legislature can refer up to three amendments to voters. Arkansas’ majority-Republican Legislature approved the voter ID law two years ago, overriding a veto by then-Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat. Justices in October upheld a lower court ruling that determined the law unconstitutionally added a requirement for voting.
“Now we’ve got to go the constitutional amendment route,” Republican Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest, who sponsored the 2013 law and filed a proposed amendment to reinstate the requirement.
King’s proposal would require the Legislature to enact the voter ID law, but leaves most of the details on the measure up to lawmakers. Like the struck-down voter ID law, King’s proposal would require the state to provide photo IDs at no charge to voters who don’t have identification.